Orleans clerk of court says additional budget funding 'a start'

Orleans clerk of court says additional budget funding 'a start'

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal Court Arthur Morrell announced Friday that the City of New Orleans has increased his budget by $450,000.

Morrell says he received word of the increase to his 2015 budget from Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin. Morrell says the additional funding will allow him to hire more staff in two key areas, bonding and evidence and property.

Morrell says the he was forced to reduce the operating hours of his office where bonds are written and the number of days each week during which the Evidence and Property Room was open because of a lack of funding. He says new hires will facilitate bonds being written 24 hours a day and for the Evidence and Property Room to remain open Monday through Friday.

He submitted a 2105 budget of $4.3 million to the City Council, which would have fully funded his department. The council approved a budget of $3.7 million, or 70 percent  of Morrell's request.

"Let me be clear, the Clerk of Court's office will still not be fully funded even with these additional dollars, and therefore we will still not be able to provide all the services the public deserves. But this additional $450,000 is a start." Morrell said.

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